Work Smart, Not Hard.

Before I get down to the serious business, I’d like to tell you guys about how organized I’ve become and how thankful I am for it. Fun is poked in my general direction because of how much of a nazi I can be when it comes to continuously counting and editing, serperating and combinding. I make lists like you wouldn’t believe, it is almost a little pathetic. You’d think I’m not capable of remembering an ounce of anything on my own. All of that being said, some of you will appreciate this-

I’ve finally organized all of my more creative writing. Those are stored on a seperate website and I know it’s annoying to hop back and forth and try to keep an eye on everything at once so I’ve made it (hopefully) easier than you’re probably imagining. I’ve kept a livejournal for a bit, something for me to organize this and that on. Maybe I had old writing I didn’t exactly want to share at one point or another with the facebook world and it made it there instead like a straight to dvd flop. Well. I guess now it’s all up for grabs. I’ve placed links in what wordpress.com calls my “profile”. If you go to the top of the page there is the word ‘about’. If you click that you will find links to poems, short stories, and whatever else I have in the works currently that is a bit more creative. Whenever I update a section of the journal, I will make a remark about it in a post here and link you directly to where you can find the content. Some people have been poking and prodding at me for a bit now to make my creative writing a bit more organized and accessable- I’m hoping this will be my answer. Also, it’ll be nice to have all of it somewhere besides facebook. If you go to look for it there you won’t find it any longer. I’ve left nothing, hit the metaphorical road hard and fast.

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way-

“Work smart, not hard.”

if you have a job where you are not the highest ranking officer of your little army of grill cooks or head asshole at the garage you get all greased up at, odds are you have heard this saying. If you are king of the castle, you’ve probably used the aggravating, exhausted phrase. If you are just another grunt beneath these peoples big, annoying metaphorical feet then you probably don’t think much of it. (unless you do, then stay put- you’ll enjoy this.) If you are the person using this phrase- your lacky’s should be disgusted, but most of them are probably ignoring you anyway.

I worked at a stop and shop for I think, roughly three years. The entire front end was made up of children (forgive me, some of you had your wits about you, but lets be honest about our mutual co-workers now)- teenagers that simply wanted money to spend on shit they didn’t need. No one cared where your eggs went or if your meat was in a bag with your feminine hygiene products. We want money, we want it now. At least if your steak leaks it has something appropriate to absorb the disgusting mess. Teenagers are somehow lazy and ravenous; both to a disturbingly remarkable extent.

Our lovely cashier department heads were poor twenty somethings that couldn’t control people as much as ten years younger than them. Every shift I worked was a theatrical mess. Human beings are the worst things to work for, beside, and under. These people, the customer service department heads were mostly men. They weren’t given offices, but they were the ones who would ominously look down at the rest of us like peons in their hustling, bustling kingdom. You should know, even with their noses and dicks pointed straight up in the air, these people did not get the hours they needed, the pay they desired, benefits, nothing. They were, for the most part, like me but paid a bit more by the hour. They put in the work, of course, to deserve the higher pay- i’ll give those shit birds that much. But for all that they tried to do for the store, they didn’t see nearly as much as they deserved.

At least the teenagers were fucking off and selling weed out of their parents cars. AT LEAST, there was that. It almost made it fair that we weren’t given the opportunity for full time hours and health insurance. But that didn’t make up for it In the eyes of the people, the adults working in the deli, the meat department, the florist department. They were given the same treatment as the grocery bagging terrorists that made up the face of the pitiful store. Who can live off of thirty two hours max with a family? With even a single child that’s a joke.

They got what they had coming though. As high school came to an abrupt, relieving end the majority of those of us that had been around for years began to jump ship. All things come to an end, good and godawful. I should have got out of there way sooner than I did. So I packed it up, I put my two weeks in and only showed up to one of them. The second week my friend decided to either find coverage for me or work my hours. At that time it felt like an awesome middle finger to the man but looking back on it, I should have just kept my mouth shut and not told anyone. I was young and didn’t know how to make points. I’m also older now and dont know how to get to them quickly. Here we go-

The real middle finger came when stop and shop had to close it’s shitty automatic glass doors forever in new hampshire. All of them, six stores with workers that would be unemployed and unhappy. The gas stations would be torn down, the stores- gutted and leased to someone else with a not yet quite failing dream.

Every time I think of the phrase “work smart, not hard”, I think of Stop and Shop. I think of big corporations trying to skimp on taking care of their employees, their customers. I think of pathetic, wilting greens in the produce section, of the smell that seemed to exist only in the backrooms, of the zillion times someone returned milk because it was out of date when they bought it. And mostly I think of my friend, the one I mentioned working for me and finding me coverage. I think of him specifically because he worked hard. He worked so hard that the kings and queens of stop and shop land were annoyed by him. “that’s a great idea, we should totally do that! Buuut. We cant have you on the clock any longer this week. You’re dangerously close to full time hours.”

I wish I could paint you a more vivid picture of the bullshittery that was that store. It was almost as if the minute they figured out the stereotypical teenagers weak spot (haha like there isn’t more than one…) they took full, disgusting advantage of us. Which was great for like, maybe seventy five percent of seven Kilton road’s inhabitants but for the other twenty five percent, it kind of probably blew. I remember being irritated the closer it got time for me to graduate as it became perfectly clear that I wouldn’t be moving up anywhere within stop and shop and honestly, did I really fucking want to anyway? I would have to find my own health insurance soon and stop and shop wasn’t going to give me that shit.

[note: I was neither responsible or irresponsible at that store, but I was very difficult so i’m not sure as to which side I sit on entirely. I’m just going to make my home up here on this fence and say I did my first job my way.]

When did cutting corners, finding loopholes, and taking the easy way out become synonymous with being SMART? Anyone who has done anything worth noting has put their all, everything they have, into what it is they wanted to succeed at, what they wanted to make thrive. They were laughed at, they were shot down, they failed, they were passionate and tired, but they didn’t give up and they didn’t throw morals to the wind, Stop and Shopians. No! Poe was resilient in his efforts, he drove himself mad and drowned his tiny frame in alcohol, but now we have books that some people won’t ever forget. They get read in high schools and his stories inspire episodes for cartoons, movies, music, television shows. Freddie Mercury didn’t bite his lip and turn his head when people ridiculed him for being flamboyantly homosexual. I’d venture to say he sang louder with more conviction than you and I will ever be able to comprehend. Now we have songs that have inspired since the day they were released up until this very day, October 25th, 2014. Einstein’s theory of relativity, as well as many more of his theories, were publicly ridiculed and you know what he did? I’ll give you a hint, he didn’t shut his thinker off and go, uuuuh for x-amount of years afterward. Don’t be fucking ridiculous. Do you think it was easy being Harvey Milk? The Wright brothers? So on and so forth, for fucksake.

I think, when it comes down to it, it’s a matter of muddling up words or perhaps not knowing the meaning of a phrase. Either way, with the changing of “what’s normal” and what seems popular according to society, i’m starting to feel that the phrase should be, “work intelligently and work hard”. I’ve decided to dig up some words that always make me feel good and I hope they do so for you as well. I hope you’re one of those people that know still what it means to put your all into something, to not stop regardless of how tough things get. Most of all, I just hope you get it. Because not many people do anymore and it’s really, really sad.

Pride-
noun. a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Passion-
noun. strong and barely controllable emotion.

Perserverance-
noun. steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Goodnight guys.
Over and out.

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